Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > The New Poetry: An Anthology
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  The New Poetry: An Anthology.  1917.
 
356. The Syrian Lover in Exile Remembers Thee, Light of my Land
 
By Ajan Syrian
 
 
ROSE and amber was the sunset on the river,
Red-rose the hills about Bingariz.
High upon their brows, the black tree-branches
Spread wide across the turquoise sky.
I saw the parrots fly—        5
A cloud of rising green from the long green grasses,
A mist of gold and green winging fast
Into the gray shadow-silence of the tamarisks.
Pearl-white and wild was the flood below the ford.
I ran down the long hot road to thy door;        10
Thy door shone—a white flower in the dusk lingering to close.
The stars rose and stood above thy casement.
I cast my cloak and climbed to thee,
To thee, Makhir Subatu!
.    .    .    .    .    .
 
Naked she stood and glistening like the stars over her—        15
Her hair trailed about her like clouds about the moon—
Naked as the soul seeking love,
As the soul that waits for death.
White with benediction, pendulous, unfolding from the dark
As the crystal sky of morning, she waited,        20
And leaned her light above the earth of my desire.
Like a world that spins from the hand of Infinity,
Up from the night I leaped—
To thee, Makhir Subatu!
.    .    .    .    .    .
 
Pearl-bright and wild, a flood without a ford,        25
The River of Love flowed on.
Her eyes were gleaming sails in a storm,
Dipping, swooning, beckoning.
The dawn came and trampled over her;
Gray-arched and wide, the sanctuary of light descended.        30
It was the altar where I lay;
And I lifted my face at last, praying.
I saw the first glow fall about her,
Like marble pillars coming forth from the shadow.
I raised my hands, thanking the gods        35
That in love I had grown so tall
I could touch the two lamps in heaven,
The sun and moon hanging in the low heaven beneath her face.
How great through love had I grown
To breathe my flame into the two lamps of heaven!
.    .    .    .    .    .
        40
 
O eyes of the eagle and the dove,
Eyes red-starred and white-starred,
Eyes that have too much seen, too much confessed,
Close, close, beneath my kisses!
Tell me no more, demand me no more—it is day.        45
I see the gold-green rain of parrot-wings
Sparkling athwart the gray and rose-gold morning.
I go from thy closed door down the long lone road
To the ricefields beyond the river,
Beyond the river that has a ford.
.    .    .    .    .    .
        50
 
I came to thee with hope, with desire. I have them no longer.
Sleep, sleep; I am locked in thee.
.    .    .    .    .    .
 
Thus the exile lover remembers thee, Makhir Subatu!
 

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